Huron Mountains group opposing wind turbines seeks referendum

L’ANSE — Canvassers from the Friends of the Huron Mountains group on Friday turned over 400 signatures to L’Anse Township Clerk Brian Jentoft on Friday.

The petition calls for holding a referendum on recent changes to the township zoning ordinance previously approved by the board.

The changes would allow for wind turbines to be built in the Forest Resource District-zoned areas of L’Anse Township as part of the Summit Lake Wind Project proposed by Renewable Energy Systems on Weyerhaeuser property in the eastern area of the township.

FOHM opposes the construction of turbines and the change in the ordinance.

In a Friday statement, FOHM chairman Burt Mason said the canvassers were warmly received by the township residents, many of whom were well-informed on the issue.

The L’Anse Township Board approved the zoning ordinance at its Oct. 11 meeting.

Notice of the zoning change was published as required by law in the local weekly newspaper. The next week FOHM submitted its intention to petition for a referendum.

The 400 signatures are anticipated to be enough to require a referendum, which will likely take place in May 2019, according to Jentoft.

Jentoft still has to certify the signatures on the petition, a process which he says he still needs to learn. He said he will be looking to the Michigan Bureau of Elections for guidance.

Each signature must be from a voter registered in L’Anse Township who resides outside the village.

Because the village of L’Anse has its own zoning ordinance, village residents will not be eligible to vote in the referendum on township zoning.